I fear that you’ll probably start thinking of me as the lady whose tart crusts all go wrong – after the shrinking problem, I made another tart and this crust sounded very promising, with the combination of butter and cream cheese. It was easy to put together, I must admit it, but in terms of both flavor and texture I’ve had many, many better ones.
Before you reach for the red square with an “x” in the corner of the page, I beg you to make this lemon cream and serve it with strawberries – you wouldn’t believe how delicious it is.
Fresh strawberry tart with lemon cream
adapted from The Craft of Baking
Cream cheese dough:
½ cup (1 stick/113g) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces
113g (4oz) cream cheese
1 ½ tablespoons caster sugar
1 cup (140g) all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
pinch of salt
½ cup (120ml) heavy cream
¾ cup lemon curd*
1 pound (450g) fresh strawberries, hulled, large strawberries halved
Start by making the crust: in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and there is no visible chunks of butter or cream cheese, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and salt and mix until just combined.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a flattened disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight – dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before using.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 27.5cm (11in) round. Fit the dough into a 24cm (9 ½ in) lightly buttered fluted tart pan with removable bottom. Press the dough into the edges of the pan and use a paring knife to trim the excess dough along the top edge. Prick the bottom all over with a fork and freeze until firm, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
Line the chilled tart with a round of foil, leaving a 2.5cm (1in) overhang. Fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the edges of the crust are just beginning to turn golden, 15-20 minutes. Remove the foil and the weights/beans. Return the crust to the oven and continue baking until it is golden all over, 15-20 minutes more. Transfer the tart pan to a wire rack and let the tart shell cool completely.
In a medium mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold about half of the cream into the lemon curd, then fold in the rest of the cream. Pour the filling into the tart shell and spread it out evenly.
Arrange the strawberries close together in concentric circles over the filling, placing any halved strawberry cut side down. Lightly cover the tart with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until cold, about 1 hour, or up to 4 hours. Remove the outer ring of the pan before serving.
The tart is best eaten the day it is prepared.
*half this lemon curd recipe gives you the exact amount needed for this tart